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Amalgam filling

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  • Amalgam filling

    Hi I had a filling replaced today because there was some decay around the old one. I think it was a silver filling but I can’t remember. The new one is resin. The dentist knew I was breastfeeding and said it was fine. Now I’m reading that amalgam fillings should not be replaced while breastfeeding due to risk of mercury exposure. I’m nursing a 13 month old who is on iron drops for low hemoglobin but is otherwise healthy. He’s still nurses quite a bit. Now I’m stressed out and don’t know if I need to stop. I would really hate to do that. I love breastfeeding and so does he. Please advise.

  • #2

    There is some risk associated with transfer of mercury from replacement of mercury amalgam silver fillings. I'd suggest you call your Dentist and ask if this was a "mercury amalgam" he removed. If so, I'd suggest you avoid breastfeeding for a day or so. If you have already started feeding, then I would not worry about it too much. Mercury does have a long half life but not like lead and you will eventually clear your body of any absorbed mercury.

    Just find out from your Dentist and inform him it is not acceptable to removed these mercury amalgams without dental masking, and significant vacuum to remove smoke, or volatized mercury or other debri from the oral cavity in order to reduce exposure of the breastfeeding (or even non breastfeeding mom) to mercury.

    Tom Hale Ph.D.


    • #3
      Thanks for your response. I just heard back and it was a amalgam filling that was replaced. He said that they used high speed suctioning and that should eliminate exposure. They did not use the masking. Unfortunately I already breastfed my son. I will try and stop for the rest of the day. Is there anything I should watch my infant for?
      Last edited by midwestmommy; 04-27-2022, 02:41 PM.


      • #4
        Well at least they used high speed suction, which should have eliminated "most" but not all mercury. I'm sure your infant is just fine. There is nothing to 'monitor' for at all.

        Tom Hale


        • #5
          the same situation happened to me and my 5 month baby. My dentist failed to use any protection on me other than vacuum when remove amalgam filling knowing I am breastfeeding. it was not even rinsed properly as I noticed the metallic taste while breastfeeding my baby then gargled many times with black thing coming out from my mouth after breastfeeding my baby.

          i worry more about the toxic vapour I inhaled as it goes to my lung, my blood and goes to breastmilk. I had metallic taste in my mouths for 3 days and I felt I smell metallic in my breastmilk too. I've been breastfeeding nonstop from the exposure day and it has been almost 3 weeks. knowing infant is extremely vulnerable as their brain and nervous system are still developing and mercury symptoms takes longer time to reflect on human body,I am extremely worried about my baby's health.


          • #6

            Mercury fortunately has a rather modest half life of 70 days, and is regularly eliminated from the human. Mercury is not like lead, that stays in the human for years. While its not ideal to expose the infant, I don't think there's much of any risk to a one-time exposure.

            Tom Hale Ph.D.


            • #7
              thanks for your prompt reply. As per dentist, the silver filling I had removed was a bigger one for back tooth. would that be concerning? if yes, should I watch her closely for at least 70 days?

              I've done my blood mercury test 7 days after the exposure which I know it's a little late. The result shows 6 nmol/L which is less than reference range 29.

              random Mercury Urine test (not 24 hrs) was also done 7 days after exposure. the result is 2 nmol/L . creatinine is 12.54 mmol/L.

              Mercury/creatinine< 1 nmol/mmol

              The test was done 7 days after the exposure and all of them have no flag. My worry is the first a few days of breastfeeding right after exposure would pass mercury to her even day 7 result looks okay.

              some websites say even a small amount of mercury may cause permanent damage to brain, the nervous system, kidney and digestive system as infant weight is so small and they are so vulnerable. it was terrifying. can you please advise. thanks again
              Last edited by euni; 11-02-2022, 06:06 AM.


              • #8

                I really doubt this small exposure is going to cause any long term complications at all. Your levels were really low, so milk levels would be even lower.

                I would not worry about this at all.

                Tom Hale PhD.
                InfantRisk Center


                • #9
                  Thank you, yibab67213! We are currently working on an article evaluating all the information we can find on dental amalgams. Keep an eye out for it on!

                  Dr. Krutsch